Homemade Pizza

my crispino pizza

A few weekends ago a dear long time friend we hadn’t seen for a very long time was stopping by for coffee and some of my homemade cheesecake. As it turned out, our guest arrived several hours late because of an issue at there job. We chatted for several hours and I put out cheese and crackers to start. We had lots to catch up on and before you knew it, it was well past dinner time.

Being this dinner with a guest was unexpected we decided to order Pizza. I don’t know about how you all feel about pizza but being from New York pizza needs to meet certain criteria. My husband an I have been seeing changes in several of the local pizzerias in our area. Tough crust, minimal toppings and too little sauce to the point where the pizza was dry.  As a girl born and raised in Brooklyn, NY I can tell you Brooklyn has some of the best pizza in NY. Growing up I watched my mom make pizza at home from the usual cheese pizza with red sauce to the White pizza topped with spinach and cheese. I remembered those days and learned to make pizza myself not so much on the fly but when I would work it into one of my weekly menus.

Needless to say the pizza we ordered for our guest was marginal and disappointing. Tough crust, very little sauce on one of the pies. So our hunt goes on for a better local pizzeria, but until then I think I will go back to making my own pizza once again like when the kids were growing up.

As a home cook I am the first to admit my pizza’s aren’t the most beautiful pies you have ever seen but they are pretty tasty. Here are a few of my favorite recipes I like to use.

My favorite recipe for making homemade pizza crust is adapted from the cookbook Laura in the Kitchen by Laura Vitale.

This recipe will make two 10 inch pizza pies or one large size Sicilian Pie. 

For the Dough:
3 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour or Italian 00 flour if you can find it.
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/3 cups of Warm Water, 110 degrees (check with a thermometer if you have one , if your water is too hot it will kill the yeast)
1 Envelope of Yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons if you buy your yeast in a bulk package like I do)

Preparation
To make the dough:
1) Add the yeast to warm water and set it aside for about 3 minutes.
2) In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a dough attachment, mix together the flour, salt, sugar and olive oil. Stir the yeast in the water to make sure it’s all dissolved and add it to the flour mixture.
3) With the speed on medium, mix until everything is combined. Reduce the speed to low and mix for 10 minutes.
4) Oil 2 bowls with olive oil and set aside. Divide the dough in two pieces and roll into a ball. Place each ball of dough into the oiled bowls, seam side down and brush the tops of the dough with a little oil to stop them from drying out.
Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until it doubles about 1 1/2 hours.
6) To make the pizzas, preheat the oven to 475 degrees and place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat it for 20 minutes. (if you don’t have a pizza stone you can use a large baking sheet just place it in the oven upside down so there are no edges)
7) Sprinkle some flour onto your counter, take 1 ball of dough and dredge it in the flour on all sides. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 10 inch circle.
8) Using a pizza peel (or a baking sheet upside down so that there are no edges) place the rolled out pizza dough on it and start topping it.

To make a red sauce pizza: Use a ladle and add your favorite pizza sauce then using the back of the ladle swirl it all over the top of the dough spreading out the sauce, not too much but not too little.
Top it with the shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese and any preferred toppings you like mushrooms, cooked sausage, veggies etc. using the pizza peel slide it onto the pizza stone.
Cook for 20 minutes, rotating half way through to insure even cooking.

A cooking Tip – If you think the dough will not slide easily off the peel because the toppings are too heavy you can do one of two things. 1) lightly dust the peel with cornmeal. or 2) what I usually do is put a piece of parchment paper between the peel and the dough when I first set the dough on the peel this way it will easily slide onto the pizza stone. Cook it right on the parchment paper and it will still be a crispy crust.

For a quick No cook Pizza Sauce:

1 1/2 cups of Tomato Puree or use and immersion blender and crush a can of San Marzano tomatoes and use 1 1/2 cups of that.

Dried Oregano, to taste

Dried Basil, to taste

Granulated Garlic, to taste

Granulated Onion, to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

Pinch of Sugar

To make the sauce simply mix together all of the sauce ingredients and adjust the seasonings to your taste. Set aside. No need to cook the sauce a head of time as the tomatoes are already cooked and the sauce will heat through while baking.

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A Good Luck Meal for the New Year – Kahlua Piggie & Macaroni Salad

New-Year-2012-HeaderThere are many foods people like to eat to ensure good luck for the coming new year. My family always serves herring as the first food after the midnight toast. Some other traditional foods often served are Ham with Black-eyed Peas or Hoppin’ John, Pork, Cabbage, New Year’s cake that has a coin inside and who ever get the coin is ensured good luck, Lentils, grapes and the salted brine fish or herring to name just a few.

I know there are so many folks who got Instant Pots for this holiday season. I got mine several months back  and I am really loving it. I will use it to make our New Years day meal of pork and cabbage that I affectionately call Kalua Piggie. There are lots of version you can find on the web; what I am sharing here is my adaptation of several of those recipes.  I won’t be using the Hawaiian Red Salt that many traditional versions call for. I try to keep to a budget and I really don’t have any other use for a two-pound bag of red salt that you order online, but trust me it will still be a delicious meal.

So remember your favorite good luck food this New Year’s Day.

Wishing you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come.

 

My 6 Qt Duo

Instant Pot Kahlua Piggie

I make this in my 6 Qt Instant Pot Duo

Serves 8

3 slices of Bacon

4-5 lb Pork Shoulder roast (I cut the pork off the bone and the meat into about 4 pieces)

4-5 Garlic cloves peeled and sliced into quarters

1 Tablespoon of Kosher salt

1 Cup Water

1 Tablespoon of Liquid Smoke

1 Small-Medium head of Cabbage, cored, and cut into 8 wedges

 

1. Put the bacon in the Instant Pot. Press Sauté.

2. While the bacon is cooking (turning it with tongs occasionally), cut the pork roast into about 4 nice size pieces so they will nicely fit into the pot. Slice the garlic cloves into quarters then cut slits in the roast and press the garlic pieces into the slits. Sprinkle half of the salt over the pork pieces and rub it in a bit. Turn the pork pieces over and sprinkle the rest of the salt on the pork rubbing it in.

3. By this time the bacon should be nicely browned. Put the pork on top of the bacon slices. Stop the Sauté function by pressing the Cancel button.

4. Add the Liquid Smoke to the 1 cup of water, stir, then pour to the pot, put the lid on and lock it in place. Make sure the pressure release knob is in the seal position.

5. Select Pressure/Cook. Press the “+” button until it shows 90 minutes. It will come up to pressure and the pressure pin will rise up. In a few minutes the time will begin to decrease. 90 minutes is the time it cooks once it’s under pressure.

6. When the 90 minutes is up, press the Cancel button to turn it off. Let the pressure release naturally, this will take about 20 minutes. The pressure pin will drop down when the pressure is completely released and you can open the pot.

7. Remove the pork from the pot and put the cabbage wedges in the cooking liquid into the pot. Put on the lid, press Pressure/Cook and press the “-“ to change the time to 3 minutes. While the cabbage is cooking, shred the pork with two forks.

9. When the cabbage is done, do a Quick Release. Push the pressure knob over with tongs or oven mitt to protect your hand. The steam will release immediately.

10. When the pressure has released and the pressure pin has dropped, open the pot. Put the cabbage on a large platter and top with the shredded pork.

11. You can pour some of the cooking liquid into the pork if you want it a juicier.

Serve with your favorite rice whether plain white rice or a flavored yellow rice. I also like to serve it with some chilled diced Pineapple on the side or a chilled fruit cocktail.

One of my favorite side dishes is Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. Goes great with Kahlua Pork or any Pulled Pork or BBQ Ribs.

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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe

 Ingredients

1 pound elbow macaroni

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 cups Hellman’s Mayonnaise ONLY! Do not use Kraft Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.

1 cup whole milk or can also use 2% but not 1% milk

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup carrot, peeled and grated

1/2 cup celery. chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring approximately 4 quarts of water to a boil and add the macaroni. Cook through, you don’t want al dente.
  2. Drain the macaroni and return to the pot. Add the 1/4 cup vinegar and stir until the macaroni is well coated. Let cool.
  3. While the macaroni is cooling, combine the mayo, milk and brown sugar. Mix well. Add any desired salt and pepper.
  4. Pour this mixture over the cooled macaroni and mix until well blended.
  5. After mixing, add in the green onions, carrots and celery. Remember to save a little to add as a garnish on top.
  6. This salad is best if chilled for 2-4 hours before serving.

Seafood on Christmas Eve – Muscles & Clams

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We are a small family so our holiday traditions are a bit limited. Some years my menu is little more traditional and other years we tend to mix it up with a theme of some sort.

Even though I am part Italian I was never raised with the traditional Seven Fishes tradition for Christmas Eve but we would often have some sort of seafood. My mother would usually make a shrimp dish of some sort, maybe fried scallops or a breaded and fried flounder along with the other array of assorted dishes and desserts. Mom wasn’t a seafood lover so the selection was pretty limited.

My husband and I on the other hand have been enjoying seafood dishes we learned to make for over 40 years. One year we might do shrimp another year steak and lobster.

Here are several easy to prepare seafood dishes we enjoy with our family not just on a holiday but anytime throughout the year.

Homemade tagliatelle with muscles in garlic butter sauce

Muscles Over Linguine with a White Wine Garlic Sauce

Prep Time: 15 mins, Cook Time: 20 mins, Total Time: 35 mins Yield: 4-6

2-3 pounds mussels, rinsed

1 pound linguine

¾ to 1 cup white wine (I usually use something like a Pinot Grigio , Riesling or Chardonnay whatever white wine we happen to have in the house)

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse the mussels and remove beards if necessary, discard any that do not fully close when rinsing (these are dead).

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt to the boiling water, and cook linguine until al dente.

Meanwhile, with linguine still boiling, combine all remaining ingredients (except for the cream and Parmesan cheese) in a large covered sauce pan on medium-high heat.

Cover and simmer mussels in the white wine sauce until fully cooked and shells open up, about 5-10 minutes. Stir sauce and mussels to coat in the sauce.

When linguine is finished, strain and stir into the mussels and white wine sauce. Now add cream and Parmesan cheese. Simmer for 5-7 minutes while covered, stirring occasionally until the sauce slightly thickens.

Serve topped with a pinch of fresh basil or chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese. (Yes, it’s perfectly safe to have cheese with seafood if you enjoy it, LOL!)

For those who would prefer a red sauce with Muscles here is a red sauce version.

Mussels Marinara

2 lbs Mussels

1 cup white wine (use what you like to drink)

1 small onion

3-4 garlic cloves

1 quart your favorite marinara sauce

4 tbsp olive oil

Preparation:

Scrape mussels clean – Toss any that are not closed

Mince onion and garlic

Cooking:

In a tall pot, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until they are translucent (don’t burn the garlic).

Add the wine and bring to a boil.

Add the mussels, cover pot and cook until the  mussels are fully opened (toss unopened mussels).

In a separate pot bring the marinara sauce to a boil, then pour it over the mussels.

Turn heat off and serve over linguine or you favorite pasta.

Serve with garlic bread and some more of that white wine. Heaven!.

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Linguine with Clams

1 pound dried linguine

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

5 to 7 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 pounds little neck clams, scrubbed clean and sand purged

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2-1 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into small cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, zested, for garnish

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water.

Add linguine, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking together.

Cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. When almost smoking, add shallots and garlic and saute until soft and translucent,

about 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the clams and wine. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until the clams have opened.

Add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Whisk in butter to thicken sauce slightly.

Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water – this will remove the pasta’s natural starches.

Pour linguine into large serving bowl- arrange clams over linguine and pour sauce over all

Garnish with remaining parsley and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

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Holiday Fruit Cake or Fruit Bread

Fruitcake (or fruit cake or fruit bread) is a cake made with candied or dried fruit, nuts, and spices, and optionally soaked in brandy or rum. In the United Kingdom, certain rich versions may be iced and decorated. Fruitcakes are typically served in celebration of weddings and Christmas. Given their rich nature, fruitcakes are most often consumed on their own,  or sometimes served with butter or cream.

festive fruit cake

We enjoy simple fruit cake at our house. Some fruit cakes are loaded with so much fruit and nuts there is very little cake. Years ago I came across a super simple fruit cake on the back of a cake box that I have tweaked a bit and I have been making it every since. It is just the way we enjoy fruit cake. You may want to give it a try.

Easy Fruit Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1/4 cup oil

2 eggs

2 (16.6-oz.) pkgs. of a Date Nut Quick Bread & Muffin Mix

2 cups Pecans, chopped for the cake but save a few whole one for decorating the cake top

2 cups Raisins

2 cups Candied mixed fruit

1/2 cup Candied Cherries, halved

1/2 cup Candied pineapple, cut-up

Corn syrup, if desired

Preparation Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of 12-cup Bundt® pan or 10-inch tube pan. In large bowl, combine water, oil and eggs; beat well. Add all remaining ingredients except corn syrup; stir with spoon until combined. Pour into greased and floured pan. You way wish set aside some candied cherry halves and Pecans to decorate the top of the cake before baking.

2. Bake at 350°F. for 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled.

3. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate at least 8 hours. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in freezer for up to 3 months.

4. Just before serving, heat corn syrup until warm. Brush over fruitcake. If desired, decorate with additional candied fruits and nuts or as desired.

pannettone sliced 2017pannettone 2017

Another version of fruit cake we enjoy would be what sometimes is referred to as Fruit Bread but I call it Panettone. I make a very easy version in my bread machine. We enjoy it sliced; spread with some butter and a hot cup of tea.

Bread Machine Panettone

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 6 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package Instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Vital Wheat Gluten (optional – I find it helps bread machine breads rise beautifully. You can find it at King Arthur Flour website, store in a glass jar in your freezer it keeps much longer)
  • 1/2 cup candied fruit
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

 Directions

Add all ingredients in bread machine pan including the yeast.  Select white bread or sweet bread setting.

(I have use the Raisin Bake bread setting for 4 hours in my Panasonic SD-YD250, light crust, large loaf).

Dough will look wet but that is normal for this bread, don’t be tempted to add more flour.

Hit start and let it go!

Countdown to Christmas – Italian Wedding Soup

10 Days until Christmas

The final Christmas countdown is here. Hope you have all gotten a good jump on your holiday shopping. It’s a gray rainy day here in the Northeast, I have just a few more things to put together for the holidays so on days like this I want a meal that will warm me up but is fast and easy. I just love a good bowl of soup that won’t take all day to cook when I’m busy.
Here are two ways to make this soup, one is quick and easy the other requires just a bit more prep work but either are simple and delicious.

Simple Italian Wedding Soup
This is the standard version of the recipe
Meatballs
1/2 lbs lean ground beef*
1 egg, slightly beaten egg
2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon EACH dried basil leaves and onion powder
Soup
2 32 oz cartons of chicken broth
2 cups thinly sliced fresh escarole or spinach*
1/2 cup (about 3 oz.) Orzo or Acini de pepe (small size soup pasta), uncooked
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
Grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)

In medium bowl, combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese and seasonings;
shape into 3/4-inch balls. In large saucepan, heat broth to boiling;
stir in meatballs, escarole or spinach, orzo and carrot. Return to a boil;
reduce heat to medium. Cook at a slow boil 10 minutes or until orzo
is tender and meatballs are heated through, stirring frequently.
Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and serve with a nice crusty bread for dipping in the soup.
4 to 6 servings

*The quick and easy version is to use * 1 lb (about 30 meatballs in a package) of frozen Italian meatballs in place of making meatballs and substitute 1 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach for fresh escarole or spinach.

A Different Twist on Christmas Cookies – Rosettes & Pizzelles

16 days until Christmas, planning goodies for family and friends.

rosettes

Rosette Cookies
So many wonderful Christmas cookie recipes out there this time of year, from sprinkled topped butter cookies to Snickerdoodles and Thumbprints. One of my old favorites at holiday time are not just the baked cookies but those lovely crispy cookies that remind me of winter and snowflakes, Pizzelle’s and Rosettes.
I can remember watching my mom make Rosettes when I was young. We would gather around the kitchen table while she would make a beautiful silky batter then attached the snowflake or star shape iron to the long handle; then stand it up in the hot oil in her electric frying pan. Once the iron was hot she would then dip it into the bowl of batter and it would make a sizzling sound then the batter seemed to magically stick to the outer edges of the iron. Mom would move the iron back to the hot oil and begin to make those beautiful crisp cookies of snowflakes and stars. Once the each cookie started to fry it would release from the iron. When the cookie became a light golden color it was done. Mom would lift the delicate cookie from the hot oil to a tray lined with brown paper bags for the oil to drain. This process went on until the silky batter was all gone. Mom would move the fried Rosette’s to a large platter and dust the beautiful cookies with powdered sugar. Our own plate of a winter wonderland of snowflakes and stars.
Owning my own set of Rosette Irons when I was a young bride was a must and I still enjoy making them to this very day and the reminders of those holidays long ago.

Rosette Cookies

Makes about 40
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted – measure and then, sift
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine eggs, sugar, and salt; beat well.
Add remaining ingredients; beat
until smooth.
Heat rosette iron in deep, hot oil (350 to 375 F) for two
minutes.
Drain excess oil from iron; dip in batter to 1/2 way, then
immediately into hot oil.
Fry rosette while counting to 10.
Jiggle iron so rosette falls off into the oil and continue to fry until golden brown.
Lift out with tongs. Drain on paper towels.
Reheat iron 1 minute; make next
rosette.
Sprinkle cooled rosettes with confectioner’s sugar.

 

pizzelles

Pizzelle’s
Mom on occasion would also make Pizzelle’s another crisp cookie that she would either sometimes dust with powdered sugar or dip the edges in chocolate.
The batter she made would go onto the hot cookie press that resembled a waffle iron. The press would make beautiful discs with a snowflake pattern. Sometimes my mom would remove the hot cookie that was still soft and pliable before it cooled and quickly wrap it around a cannoli form. The Pizzelle’s would crisp up when cooled and be ready for a filling of cannoli cream with chocolate chips, jam or pudding.
So if you are looking for a different twist on a holiday cookie why not give one of these a try.
Have a jolly holiday!

A nip in the air…Pasta Fagioli

It’s holiday season and the cool temps are here in full force in the Northeast. Over the last six months I jumped on the band wagon and fell in love with the Instant Pot. I started to convert some of my favorite recipes so they could be made in the Instant Pot. One of my favorites is Pasta Fagioli and it turned out fantastic and a lot less time then cooking it on the stove. So If you are looking for a hearty meal soup this is it. You can have this meal on the table within an hour from start to finish.

Pasta Fagioli in the IP

Pasta Fagioli with Sausage

for the Instant Pot

Made in a 6 Qt. Duo Instant Pot

Ingredients

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage, sweet, hot or a mix of both. Take out of the casing and break up into bits
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 15-oz. cans Great Northern Beans (do not drain)
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups of chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons of Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 cups Ditalini pasta (or other small shape like shells)
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

Directions

In the IP press Sauté wait until it reads Hot the add oil and heat.
Add sausage meat and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
Stir in onion, carrots and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Add chicken broth, beans (with their liquid), diced tomatoes, and Italian Seasoning.
Mix and scrape the bottom to loosen any bits so they don’t stick.
Stir in Ditalini pasta.
Press cancel, then set IP to High Pressure and timer for 4 minutes
Do a Quick Release when done.
Stir, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve in bowls garnished with Parmesan Cheese (optional)                                               Serve with some nice crusty Italian bread.

Time off to think…

I know it has been several months since I last posted, sorry about that. I was having a bit of a “writer’s block” as to what I wanted to say in my blog, I don’t live an exciting life and I’m not a chef so how interesting could this blog be, but maybe someone just might like to try what I have posted.
I just love to cook for my family, cooking is a part of who I am along with my other creative interests and I really just love sharing what I make and learn. I like to share with others how easy it is to prepare a really terrific meal and you don’t have to have a chef’s kitchen or having gone to cooking school to do it. It’s really is easy to ditch the weeknight fast food for dinner and prep a good meal in a short amount of time. Not every meal you make has to look like one from a restaurant. There is nothing more comforting than an all-in-one pot or skillet meal on a weeknight. Take out was a treat reserved for an occasional Friday or Saturday night at our house.
So with the time off I did some soul searching and thinking if I wanted to continue and decided I would try again and continue sharing what I love.

Thanks for listening.

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Easy Sunday Dinner in the Slow Cooker – Pineapple & Brown Sugar Ham

We are at the age where we are planning to retire in the near future so savings are a must. I have always been one to make a dollar stretch when it comes to meal preparation being careful to use fresh and quality ingredients where I can. Sometimes when I shop at the grocery store I stumble on a sale that’s worth picking up ahead of time. Several weeks ago I found a fully cooked bone in ham shank on special for 69 cents a lb. So for less than $7 it was a great bargain, so in our freezer it went. I knew it would make a great meal one day soon and the left over ham could morph into several other dishes as well. So yesterday I took out the ham to defrost knowing this Sunday I had some plans and didn’t feel much like fussing with dinner. I searched through some easy ham recipes I had, and I decided to make this one. It was easy, no fuss and a perfect day to make dinner in the slow cooker since it has been hot and humid. No way would I be turning on the oven today.
Only one small problem, the ham I bought was 9.5 lbs and had a shank bone and wouldn’t quite fit in my slow cooker. So to resolve the problem I cut down one side of the ham and then into larger pieces. The ham now fit fine and I just arranged the ham pieces around the sides. Voilà!. With this being a fully cooked ham I was comfortable doing this being this was just cooking on low to heat through and absorb all the juices.

Slow Cooker Pineapple and Brown Sugar Ham

5-7 lb. Fully Cooked Smoked Ham (butt or shank)
French’s Yellow Mustard (I never measure it)
Light Brown sugar – about a cup
1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple – Do Not Drain
Instructions
1. Put the ham in a large or oval slow cooker, put it in the slow cooker sliced side down if possible.
2. Squirt the mustard all over the ham.
3. Cover the ham with the brown sugar and lightly pat down.
4. Pour the crushed pineapple all over the ham, letting the juices fall down the sides and spreading the crushed pineapple over the brown sugar.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours. (Keep the lid on until it’s finished)
3. Carve the ham and let the slices fall into the tasty juices
4. Serve warm and enjoy with your favorite sides.

Pineapple Ham

Easy Cooking Sunday’s – The Instant Pot

The last several weekends have been busy so no special meal preparation. We went away to open our summer place in the Pocono’s two weeks ago, then last weekend was Mother’s Day and the family insisted I shouldn’t cook. This weekend is filled with chores so I need an easy peasy meal for dinner. I’ll put on a loaf of bread for the weeks lunches in the bread baker and put dinner in the Instant Pot so I won’t have to bother babysitting while it cooks and I can get some things accomplished.

I’d been putting off from buying an Instant Pot for several years, I just felt I really didn’t need one. The more I read about how I could make some easy put together recipes that didn’t take as long as it would on the stove or oven I decided to go for it. Preparing dinner on a weeknight sometimes takes far too long after a long day at work and heck it’s all in one pot so less dishes. I have found with the slow cookers of recent years that the cooking time is shorter being they now cook at a higher temperature. Doesn’t work for me with the 10 hours I’m out for work and commute time, I didn’t like the thought of warm food sitting on the counter for hours until I got home. So I took the plunge and ordered a 6 Qt IP Duo. There are a ton of IP recipes out there and lots of helpful folks on the FB Instant Pot Community group.

My 6 Qt Duo

I keep trying new recipes each time I use the IP. So far no disappointments.

Today’s dinner will be IP BBQ Ribs, I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Here are some of my cooking adventures with the IP. One day I will tackle that cheesecake everyone in the group has been making that looks so delicious.

 

Above left to right: Zuppa Toscana, Chili with Beef and Beans, Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, Chicken Teriyaki and Pot Roast with baby red potatoes, carrots and mushrooms.